The World in Time

Eric Berkowitz

Friday, September 03, 2021

Roundel with allegorical scene of book burning, North Netherlandish, c. 1520.

Roundel with allegorical scene of book burning, North Netherlandish, c. 1520. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cloisters Collection, 1992.

“The compulsion to silence others is as old as the urge to speak,” historian Eric Berkowitz writes in Dangerous Ideas: A Brief History of Censorship in the West, from the Ancients to Fake News, “because speech—words, images, expression itself—exerts power…Even in countries where free expression is cherished, we often forget that forgoing censorship requires the embrace of discord as a fair price for the general good. Tolerance is risky. Suppression, on the other hand, is logical—and across history, it has been the norm.”

 

In this episode of The World in Time, Lewis H. Lapham and Berkowitz discuss this history and consider the future of censorship and free speech.

 

Lewis H. Lapham speaks with Eric Berkowitz, author of Dangerous Ideas: A Brief History of Censorship in the West, from the Ancients to Fake News.

 

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

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